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Samsung Parries Apple's 7th Amendment Arguments ~pj
Saturday, April 20 2013 @ 11:30 AM EDT

Samsung has responded to Apple's arguments that the Seventh Amendment is not violated by a damages-only retrial and that in any case Samsung waived that issue. Not so, Samsung says, because the claims are intertwined and there was nothing to waive until the new trial was ordered, plus a right to a jury trial can't be impliedly waived:
Apple’s response on the Seventh Amendment issue (Dkt. 2303 (“Opp.”)) offers no answer to the constitutional problem presented by a damages-only new trial in the circumstances of this case, where a second jury would necessarily have to reexamine infringement findings determined by the first jury because the scope and extent of infringement as to the design patents and some utility patents are inextricably tied to the amount of damages. Samsung did not waive this argument because the proper scope of a new trial could not be addressed until a new trial was ordered.1...

A waiver of a jury trial right can never be implied. Ostlund v. Bobb, 825 F.2d 1371, 1373 (9th Cir. 1987) (“A waiver of a constitutional right is not to be implied and is not lightly to be found.”); see Aetna Ins. Co. v. Kennedy, 301 U.S. 389, 393 (1937) (“as the right of jury trial is fundamental, courts indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver.”); California Scents v. Surco Prods., Inc., 406 F.3d 1102, 1108 (9th Cir. 2005) (same). In any event, Samsung did object to the scope of the new trial promptly as soon as the new trial Order issued and made clear that the ordered new trial would require the second jury to reexamine findings necessarily made by the first jury. Moreover, contrary to Apple’s suggestion, Samsung did not request a new trial only on damages, but rather sought JMOL or a new trial “as to each and every claim and issue on which Apple prevailed before the jury,” Dkt. 2013 at 1, and did not limit that broad request to particular errors, including damages errors.

The parties also argue further on Apple's conditional motion for reconsideration of damages.

read more (2909 words) 116 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 04/23 09:35AM by ukjaybrat

Apple's Game Revealed in Apple v. Samsung Post-Trial Skirmishes ~pj
Wednesday, April 17 2013 @ 03:36 PM EDT

Apple has filed several new documents in Apple v. Samsung -- the trial that never ends. The main issue is whether Samsung's request [PDF] for a stay in holding the new trial on damages should be granted. Apple votes no [PDF], again. It would prefer not to wait until the USPTO and the courts finish the reexaminations of two of Apple's patents, preferring an immediate retrial.

Why? It means setting damages for at least one patent claim the USPTO just decided isn't valid in a final office action and another patent that has been ruled preliminarily invalid, but this is Apple. It indicates it will appeal until it gets what it feels is the outcome it wants.

But that's not the real game. The real game is to get the appeals over with before the reexaminations plus all its appeals are finished, because, as Apple itself states, if a final invalidity ruling arrives after the appeals process is over, it doesn't "disturb an earlier final court judgment awarding damages for past infringement of those claims." So that's Apple's game. Take the money and run. It wants the damages trial to happen right away, so that the appeals process can get going quickly, to try to beat the timeline on the USPTO findings of invalidity. That way, even if the patents are ultimately found to be indeed invalid, Samsung will still have to pay the damages the deluded earlier jury sets.

Do you admire Apple for angling for such an outcome? I don't either.

See what happens when a jury gets things so very wrong? They wanted to "send a message" but the message turns out to be that US patent law can be wildly unfair. Samsung can be forced to pay for invalid patents, because that's how patent law in the US works currently. How do you like it? Think some reform might be in order? Add on top that these are software patents, which some, including me, think are not properly patentable subject matter, and it's cringe-worthy to watch this case play out like this.

read more (1470 words) 293 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 05/01 02:10PM by Anonymous

For Those Who Like Things Open - Check Out OpenCourseware ~mw
Tuesday, April 16 2013 @ 07:00 PM EDT

Our readers are a curious bunch, and I never cease to be amazed at the knowledge they possess. Still, I suspect most of you are life-long learners. Although you may already be aware of it, you now have the opportunity to take college level courses on a vast array of subjects. There is no course credit, but you also don't have to pay for the courses.

The program is Open Courseware, and it is brought to you by MIT, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Michigan and many other nationally recognized universities. For those of you wanting to brush up on your computer science, there are more than 50 courses, including courses on how to build mobile phone apps for both Android and iOS. There are courses on information technology, web design, accounting, statistics, math, writing, and numerous other areas.

read more (30 words) 113 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 04/20 12:07PM by Anonymous

Google, Red Hat, et al. Ask FTC & DOJ to Investigate Antitrust Implications of Patent Outsourcing to Trolls ~pj
Tuesday, April 16 2013 @ 11:46 AM EDT

Joe Mullin at ars technica has the welcome news that the FTC is thinking about using subpoena powers to investigate patent trolls, such as Intellectual Venture. He mentions that Google, Red Hat, Blackberry and Earthlink just sent some comments [PDF] to the FTC and the Department of Justice asking for an investigation into what they politely call patent assertion entities, or PAEs. So have the Computer and Communications Industry Association [Comments, PDF] and the National Restaurant Association [Comments, PDF] also asked for such scrutiny.

But the most important part of the Google et al. request, to me, hasn't yet been highlighted in the media reports I've seen. What they are asking for is not just an investigation into trolls, but into active companies outsourcing their patent enforcement *to* PAEs. And what they are asking for is whether such activities in some instances can rise to the level of antitrust violations.

That is something I've wondered about for a while -- why didn't regulatory bodies see what is happening to Android, for example, with all the old guard working apparently together to try to crush it? One thing that Microsoft and Nokia have done, for example, is outsource patent enforcement to MOSAID and other patent enforcement-style non-practicing entities. (If you recall, Google filed a compliant specifically about that with the EU Commission last summer.) The new comments call the new outsourcing to trolls patent privateering, which they say is designed for assymetric patent warfare -- meaning the defendant's business is at stake, but the outsourcing company's business isn't, and the troll has nothing to lose, because it has no business.

So, finally, the day I've been waiting for begins.

I've taken the time to do the comments as text for us, because the footnotes alone are a treasure trove of resources. So let's take a look at the antitrust issues and see if we can learn something about antitrust law that way.

read more (12847 words) 64 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 04/29 09:27AM by jsoulejr

Today is Human Genome Day at the US Supreme Court ~pj Updated 4Xs - transcript
Monday, April 15 2013 @ 07:27 AM EDT

Today is human genome day at the US Supreme Court. There will be oral argument on Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.. The link will take you to the ABA's collection of amicus briefs, and there are many of them, and the merits briefs. The question before the court is this:
QUESTION PRESENTED: Many patients seek genetic testing to see if they have mutations in their genes that are associated with a significantly increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer. Respondent Myriad Genetics obtained patents on two human genes that correlate to this risk, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These patents claim every naturally-occurring version of those genes, including mutations, on the theory that Myriad invented something patent--eligible simply by removing ("isolating") the genes from the body. Petitioners are primarily medical professionals who regularly use routine, conventional genetic testing methods to examine genes, but are prohibited from examining the human genes that Myriad claims to own. This case therefore presents the following questions:
1. Are human genes patentable?

2. Did the court of appeals err in upholding a method claim by Myriad that is irreconcilable with this Court's ruling in Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc., 132 S. Ct. 1289 (2012)?

3. Did the court of appeals err in adopting a new and inflexible rule, contrary to normal standing rules and this Court's decision in MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118 (2007), that petitioners who have been indisputably deterred by Myriad's "active enforcement" of its patent rights nonetheless lack standing to challenge those patents absent evidence that they have been personally threatened with an infringement action?

Can you believe that is the question, are human genes patentable? But it is what the court has to decide. How in the world did we get to such a place? The argument [PDF] by Myriad is that they aren't patenting genes *in* the body, only after they've removed them and done things to them that are not done in the body, arguing that “isolated” DNA can perform functions that DNA can't. But ACLU's lawyer points out in its reply brief, you can't patent gold after you take it out of a stream just because you can make jewelry with it or patent kidneys after you remove them from one body and transplant them:
Myriad is in effect arguing that it may obtain a patent on a product or law of nature itself if it finds a new use for it. Under this theory, Section 101 would not prohibit someone from obtaining a patent on gold if she found a new use for gold. As a matter of law, that argument is incorrect.
So that is what is at stake.

read more (14972 words) 269 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 04/26 06:42AM by Anonymous

Samsung Granted Leave to Depose Toshiyuki Masui in Japan Re Prior Art ~pj Updated
Friday, April 12 2013 @ 11:12 AM EDT

Samsung has been given leave [PDF] in Apple v. Samsung II to depose Toshiyuki Masui [PDF] in Japan regarding prior art. Specifically, it's about POBox software, which it believes is relevant prior art.

Here is a paper [PDF] on POBox by Professor Masui, "An Efficient Text Input Method for Pen-based Computers", published in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’98) (April 1998). Here's another, "An Efficient Text Input Method for Handheld and Ubiquitous Computers" the following year [PDF]. Professor Masui was approached and expressed willingness to attend the deposition. The deposition is set for June 11 in Tokyo, in the US embassy there. The Declaration [PDF] attached to the motion asking for leave to depose Professor Masui explains how it all happened:

2. I first spoke with Professor Masui on or about February 5, 2013. I explained that we were interested in Professor Masui’s work on the POBox software, which is relevant prior art in this litigation. On or about the morning of February 6, my colleague John McKee and I spoke to Professor Masui about POBox. During this call, Professor Masui expressed willingness to gather and provide information about POBox. Several days later, on or about February 12, 2013, Professor Masui verbally confirmed to me that he would be willing to sit for a deposition in this matter.

3. Over the last few months, I have spoken with Professor Masui several additional times. Professor Masui has declined to travel to the United States for a deposition, but has stated that he would be willing to appear for a deposition in Tokyo, Japan. On or about March 20, Professor Masui confirmed to me that he was available June 11 in Tokyo, and would be willing to sit for a deposition on that date. Samsung thereafter reserved space at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo for Professor Masui’s deposition.

Attached are the rules for such depositions, Exhibit 1, The United States – Japan Consular Convention, and Exhibit 2, the State Department's guidelines for conducting depositions in Japan.

Also the judge, the Hon. Lucy Koh, has filed her order [PDF] construing disputed patent claim terms. It's full of the usual infuriating spaghetti language about terms that describe elements of patents that in my view should never have issued in the first place. Don't read on if you don't want to know about one specific. But there is a link to Professor Masui's work.

read more (2494 words) 265 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 04/15 07:57PM by Anonymous

Apple and Samsung File the Extra Briefs the Judge Asked For ~pj Updated
Thursday, April 11 2013 @ 10:13 AM EDT

The parties in Apple v. Samsung have filed the extra briefs the Hon. Lucy Koh asked for in her April 2nd order. She asked for the following:
To assist the Court in resolving the many pending disputes, the Court sets the following briefing schedule:

(1) On April 9, 2013, Apple shall file a response, not to exceed six pages, to Samsung’s contention that a new trial on damages alone violates the Seventh Amendment. See Samsung Opposition to Apple’s Motion Seeking an April 3 Case Management Conference, ECF No. 2286 at 5-10. On April 16, 2013, Samsung may file a reply, not to exceed five pages.

(2) On April 9, 2013, Samsung shall file a response, not to exceed five pages, to Apple’s contention that immediate appeal of this Court’s Order Re: Damages filed on March 1, 2013 is not viable. See Apple’s Motion Seeking an April 3 Case Management Conference, ECF No. 2283, at 2. On April 16, 2013, Apple may file a reply, not to exceed four pages.

(3) On April 9, 2013, both parties shall file a statement, not to exceed four pages per party, regarding when their US PTO reexaminations of the opposing party’s patents will conclude and what effect the concluded reexaminations will have on any new trial or appeal. On April 16, both parties may file a response, not to exceed two pages per party.

There will be more on all this, as you can see each gets to respond to the other's brief.

read more (6889 words) 72 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 04/13 06:01PM by Anonymous

USPTO Roundtables on Software Patents: CA and NYC, video available
Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 04:42 PM EDT

The USPTO has now made available video and slides from the speakers at the two roundtable discussions on improving software patents held so far, the first in Silicon Valley on February 15, and the second in New York City on February 27. Sadly, it's .wmv and mostly all PowerPoints, like it's still the '90s and everyone uses Windows.

Those days are so over. Time to modernize, I'd suggest. Nowadays, most people use Apple or Android, on mobiles, to boot.

There's a new deadline for sending them comments, April 15. Groklaw already sent ours in, but if you have further thoughts, there's still time. And the comments already received are available now too.

read more (1808 words) 141 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 04/15 01:44PM by Anonymous

Another Cynical "Antitrust" Complaint From Microsoft and Its Buddies Against Google ~pj Updated 4Xs
Tuesday, April 09 2013 @ 10:51 AM EDT

Evidently, Microsoft and its proprietary friends didn't get the result they hoped for from their first antitrust complaint against Google to the EU Commission. The latest news is that the first one is being amicably resolved, according to the New York Times. Instead of saying to themselves, I guess we were wrong, instead Fairsearch, the Microsoft-led group that seems to have no other reason for being but to attack Google, files another antitrust complaint.

And when someone files a complaint with the EU Commission, it has to consider it. So it will.

Here's what the new complaint is about, or says it's about:

FairSearch’s complaint is that “Google uses deceptive conduct to lockout competition in mobile” — by, specifically, requiring OEMs that use Android to pre-load a suite of Google services and give them “prominent default placement” on the device in order to also get access to ”must-have Google apps such as Maps, YouTube or Play”. By doing this, FairSearch argues that Google “disadvantages other providers, and puts Google’s Android in control of consumer data on a majority of smartphones shipped today”, adding that this “predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform”....

“Google is using its Android mobile operating system as a ‘Trojan Horse’ to deceive partners, monopolize the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data,” said Thomas Vinje, Brussels-based counsel to the FairSearch coalition, in a statement. “We are asking the Commission to move quickly and decisively to protect competition and innovation in this critical market. Failure to act will only embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses of dominance as consumers increasingly turn to a mobile platform dominated by Google’s Android operating system.”

That is preposterous, and I'll tell you why. But what I do want the EU Commission to think about is this: is this constant attack on Google itself a result of antitrust schemes by the old guard to destroy the new kid on the block? What? Microsoft would never do anything mean or underhanded? Puh lease.

read more (2072 words) 348 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 04/22 12:30PM by Anonymous

Prior Art, Anyone? - The Parallel Iron/IPNav Patents That Rackspace Is Going After ~pj Updated 2Xs
Sunday, April 07 2013 @ 06:50 PM EDT

Rackspace is going after a troll, Parallel Iron and its "agent", IP Navigation (or IPNav), bringing a declaratory judgment of noninfringement action against Parallel Iron, because it owns the patents and is asserting them against the Open Source Hadoop distributed file system ( Parallel's patents being on storage-area-network and network-attached-storage equipment) and a breach of contract action against both. Since Rackspace says, as the H Online reports, one goal is "to highlight the tactics that IP Nav uses to divert hard-earned profits and precious capital from American businesses", I thought we could pitch in and spread the word.

And if you are free to do so, why not look for any prior art on the patents involved? There are three, but once again, we have a continuation loop, so it's really just one with some variations on the theme and some doodads. Don't read on if you are not supposed to look at patents.

read more (2620 words) 167 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 04/19 12:33PM by iraskygazer

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